25/02/2017 10:15 AM IST | Updated 25/02/2017 10:32 AM IST

Absurd To Link Shooting Of Indian Man With Trump's Remarks On Immigrants: White House

"Any loss of life is tragic."

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
White House Communications Director Sean Spicer holds the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Washington, Feb 25 (PTI) — The Trump administration has dismissed as "absurd" any correlation between US President Donald Trump's controversial remarks on immigrants and the Kansas shooting incident that resulted in the "tragic" death of an Indian engineer.

"Obviously, any loss of life is tragic, but I'm not going to get into, like, to suggest that there's any correlation I think is a bit absurd. So I'm not going to go any further than that," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters.

Spicer was responding to a question on the shooting incident in Kansas on Wednesday night in which 32-year-old Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed, and another Indian man and an American were injured, after an American Navy veteran yelling "get out of my country" and "terrorist" opened fire on them at a bar in an apparent racially motivated hate crime.

Reporters asked Spicer what the President Donald Trump's response to the incident was and also if there's any concern that some of the rhetoric of the President, or what has generally been out here recently, could have contributed in any way to it or stepped up the violence.

Meanwhile, the Indian Embassy in the US has issued a demarche to the State Department on the killing of the Indian engineer and called for a speedier investigation. The Indian Embassy also asked that it be kept informed on the investigation.

"Government of India has taken up the matter with the US authorities to express its deep concern and has asked for speedy investigation. US Government, while condemning the attack, has assured us that it is conducting a thorough investigation into the matter," Indian Embassy spokesperson Pratik Mathur said in a separate statement earlier in the day.

The Indian Consulate in Houston is also in close contact with the family of the deceased.

"In their hour of grief, we are providing all help and assistance to the bereaved family. Arrangements are being made to transport his mortal remains to India," he said.

"Government officials have also met with the injured victim, Alok Madasani, and are ensuring his well-being," Mathur said in his statement.

The shooting incident comes at a time when hate crimes and acts of bigotry have risen notably in America since Trump came to power.

Trump had previously issued an executive order to suspend the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days, for Syrian refugees indefinitely, and barred citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from the US for 90 days.

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